Interview with the President of the Romanian Organization of Human Rights Protection, Florestine Skaletskiy
Question: Mr. Skaletskiy, you have visited Baku and are familiar with the situation of democratic developments in the country. Though you might think the processes to be slippingвЂ¦
Answer: Our organization and the publications close to it, intellectual centers systematically observe over the development dynamic not only in Azerbaijan, but also in all newly independent post-communist countries. Despite lack of similarity, mostly explained with co-residence in the socialist area, every country undoubtedly has its own specifics. Over the past 10 years Azerbaijan has seen many positive changes, the democratization of the society develops year-by-year and reforms in the political, legal, economic, legislative, education fields are being implemented successfully. We are familiar with the political situation in Azerbaijan. It is necessary to establish constructive relationships with the opposition with respect to maintain achieve political stability and boost the democratic process. The use of вЂ�black PRвЂ� in the political struggle in the Muslim East and modern politics is unacceptable variant.
Question: The opposition, however, thinks that the authorities are the main obstacle on the way of holding free and fair elections вЂ¦
Answer: The position of the current Azerbaijani authorities in the strategic term is powerful enough in the international arena. Azerbaijan entered the Council of Europe in 20-21st century, stated its readiness for adherence to the European values and European living standards in its public development, as well as in mutual relationships with different European countries. The Azerbaijani economy continues developing today, new job places for local people are opened. The most strategically important project on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export pipeline is successfully implemented. As I know from the OSCE the Azerbaijani President issued a decree on organization of fair democratic elections. Equal conditions were offered to all candidates for registration. I think, the problems in your country do not exist among the ideas, but among the political leaders. The authorities have problem of another kind, which are linked with the dynamic of personnel reforms, domination of previous party nomenclature officialdom, which cannot accept President Ilham AliyevвЂ™s pragmatism and his modern methods of government. To my mind, namely this part of the authorities, which is unable to work in such conditions, will evolve the major problems in the implementation of the said decree. The world has become pragmatic and always requires implementation of new reforms and new constructive ideas. In this respect I support Azerbaijan's initiative on establishment of the International Scientific Council on human rights, the first of its kind in the East. The public ought to get familiar with the unbiased analysis and recommendations of the Council of Europe, as far as I know it was treated seriously in many European organizations. The international community will observe over elections in Azerbaijan and I hope and sincerely wish them to be held in democratic conditions.
Question: How do you estimate the pre-election situation in the country? Nationwide, you have prestigious position in the international organizations.
Answer: The current elections positively differ from the previous elections held in your county, as there was no problem with the registration of candidates. In the end the record number of people was registered. Even today the Azerbaijani government has created all conditions for freedom of word, freedom of press and free gathering. For the first time without any political pressure all candidates irrespective of their position were registered without problems. This important factor of democracy should be estimated both in and out of the country. I think the authorities will further demonstrate political wisdom and will not go to provocation. As to rest, the current pre-election situation in Azerbaijan does not differ from standard pre-election situation in the developing countries. Besides, the organization of the real democratic elections is the barest necessity and demand of not only the international organizations, but also entire Azerbaijan, which is ready to hold such elections. I believe in the will of the young President of Azerbaijan, his noble education, and aspiration for holding cardinal reforms in the evolutional way.